This Association, who brings together thousands of patients who suffer from pain, will fight to prevent the Administration from “tripping” Spanish patients who are suffering from pain
Madrid, 23/12/2019.- From November the 1st, the Ministry of Health assigned a special visa so that patients suffering from postherpetic pain can access 5% Lidocaine patches with clinical indication.
According to some of our clinicians, up to now, more than 90% of these patches were prescribed by different clinical specialists to treat various types of pain, as, for example, to treat pain from patients who present with postoperative-neuropathic pain provided that this treatment demonstrated its effectiveness and efficiency for the patient.
“This is a type of medication, which if the patient doesn’t present with any intolerance at first to the active anesthetic, has no systemic side effects as it occurs in the case of other drugs that are prescribed to address pain” says Dr. Salvador.
Ignacio del Rio, Director of the Spanish Association of Patients with Neuropathic Pain, representing thousands of patients who constitute this non-profit entity -where its President and its Board of Directors are volunteers – expresses his discomfort towards this news on behalf of all Spanish patients who suffer from pain and are members of our entity.
“Patients who present with daily pain in our country are faced with enough difficulties, pain itself is considered to be a pathology, so it is unfair that they are additionally faced with more difficulties when their clinicians are only trying to improve their quality of life. There is a total neglect on the Spanish Administration towards patients who suffer from pain and the proof is that a patient can spend more than a year in our Health System waiting to reach the Pain Unit and receive treatment”, affirm sources of the Board of Directors of this entity, created in 2006, by affected professionals and health professionals.
A National and International team of health professionals who dedicate all weekends and holidays trying to help each patient individually
We are very proud to count with the help of a national and international clinical team that applies North American protocols to find the etiology of each case individually and we refuse to let political authorities get in the way of our patient’s who suffer from pain paths. “In fact, recently Dr. Cesar Margarit presented at a conference in Madrid a European study that reveals that patients suffering from severe pain, according to the EVA scale with a score of more than 6 , have worse quality of life than oncological patients who are not in a palliative phase” says the co-Director María Huerta.
“But how can this situation in Spain be consented?” And, he adds, “Of what use are the meetings with the Ministry of Health and all the Scientific Societies if we have been suffering from the same situation for more than 8 years? Years and years repeating the same figures in Spain. It must be exhausting to always have to listen to the same things” the Board of Directors of this Association -which represents thousands of Spanish patients who suffer pain due to different etiologies-is asked.
The clinical team of this Association is spread across Europe and the USA “Between not treating our doctors and our patients well, it seems that emigration of Spanish specialists to other countries is occurring”.
Some of the clinicians who are working in Public Health suffer form pharmacoeconomic and political pressures
Regarding Neuropathic Pain, Dr. Salvador believes that his treatment is very specific and requires experts in its approach. “As a clinician, I do not understand that if there is a Lidocaine patch that can help a patient with neuropathic pain, or any medication – whatever it is – the patient does not have access to it because its indication is exclusively for postherpetic pain. As clinicians, we do NOT understand this situation. In addition, the case of this drug isn’t like the case of morphine which we believe should NOT be used to treat chronic benign pain, because although it is very cheap, can create addictions and severe side effects which are dangerous to the patient’s health “, this doctor highlights.
In favor of a lower price for all medications
This expert concludes “It seems wonderful that the Administration lowers the price of all medicines in our country. As clinicians, we express our congratulations with the reduction of the prices of any medication as other Scientific Societies have stated. This should be the way to save money, but never at the expense of the patient’s health”.
The fact that for decades the same figures of prevalence and incidence of chronic pain in our country has been maintained bores. Politicians are limited to listening, which is not executive
During the month of December 2018, a seminar was celebrated in the Congress of Deputies, in which several experts in the treatment of pain commented on the results of a study in which it showed that chronic pain is becoming an epidemic.
Dr. Juan Antonio Mico, President of the SED, recently declared that the need to create pain units in the National Health System is urgent. “62% of patients who suffer from pain have never been referred and from those who have been referred 69% took more than a year to access the Pain Unit and 31% took more than five years. The average age of patients who are affected by chronic pain is 46 years old. In addition, 70% of patients suffering from pain suffer from anxiety or depression”, said this clinician.
Train Spanish doctors so that they emigrate and then we will also migrate patients
“Our Board of Directors has been reading for a decade that all our Ministers of Health are very concerned about the lack of clinical specialists in Spain. Being worried is useless. The problem is that people who govern have no authority over delegated health competencies in each of the Autonomous Communities. It must be boring to always say the same speech without doing anything”
Trained clinicians and patients
María José Gómez, one of the spokespersons of this entity and one of the thousands of patients who are affected by this situation says “Desperate diseases need desperate remedies. You have to tell the truth. In Spain, many clinicians working in the National Health System are completely pressured and cannot prescribe the most appropriate medication for their patients normally because their job is at stake. And, they confess this to us, patients. After all, the clinicians that work in our Health System are civil servants at the service of the State, who also have children to maintain”.
When a hospital does not apply the official scale of pain drugs, medical malpractice is being committed. In certain cases, we have seen how clinicians of the National Health System in Madrid switch from prescribing Paracetamol to making the jump directly to Morphine. There are many cases in this situation where clinicians feel pressured by their managers to reduce health costs. “The patient must have a minimum of training and differentiate when the appropriate protocol is not being met in the treatment of benign chronic pain benign”, indicate health associations of this Association.
Associations of patients are going to train patients
Some of our health journalists have seen how some doctors who practice in Public Health are suffering from greater censorship than before 1973. And then, our Minister of Health complains in all media that there are not enough doctors. “But what are we playing at in Spain?” Thousands of patients who suffer from pain wonder.
María Huerta reveals that 70% of the members of the Scientific Committee of this entity work from other European countries. “Our clinicians are grateful to have received an excellent public education in Spain to be able to practice in other countries”.
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